The road to Transparency  –  the first stop

, mynhs

Since my first blog back in September, setting out our ambitions for improving data transparency for the NHS and specifically My NHS, we have achieved a lot! Now that this initial proof of concept has paused it gives us a chance to take stock of our achievements and prepare for our next steps along the road.

In the three months of the proof of concept we’ve worked with our partners to create a data platform capable of delivering the data needed to drive the My NHS site, but also to provide the data layers we identified through the user research. Through this process, we’ve learnt more about our data through the challenge of explaining it to people outside of the health domain. It’s also made us think more about how clean the data is, as those little changes and compromises to make the data work for our audience of it are exposed. This was borne out in a BBC article “NHS Structures ‘complex and confused’.

We’ve delivered changes to the My NHS site, which are currently in private beta, to show time series data for Mental Health Trusts for a number of indicators. We’ve also developed the capability to build your own dashboard covering the indicators most relevant to your organisation.

Nigel posted in his last blog the progress that had been made up to that point to integrate the changes into our deployment pipeline and the UX that had been developed. The work continued to refine this as you can see below:


Time data example

The dashboard was also finessed by the team and can be seen below. The map pulls in data from NHS England for the CCG areas.


Hospital Dashboard

Having navigated through the My NHS presentation of the data, should you need access to the data, then you can access the data platform directly:


Data Platform

By using the platform, users can create their own datasets based on the information that is important to them. Gone are the days of downloading multiple CSVs to get a single value that you’re interested in, just select the values in the platform and we generate it for you.

We’ve also learnt a lot about our own capabilities of exploiting the platform and our existing applications in use on My NHS. We’ve been able to integrate the data through our existing pipelines, minimising the impact and setting us up nicely to be able to deliver more in the future.

The technical work has been just one aspect of what we’ve been doing to promote the work. Over the last few months, we’ve collectively spoken at a number of events to promote the work that we have been doing, including:
Making Better decisions with Open Data in Sheffield
Linked Data for Health and Care in Manchester
– Health and Social Care Expo 2016
– The Digital Health Summit 2017
– Department of Health Transparency Board

The next steps for us now is to build on the success we have had to provide the data platform capable of driving the data needs of NHS.UK –  watch this space!

Leave a Reply